Endless parties, unhealthy food everywhere, and tons of festive time with our friends and families can be a fun way to end the year. But we also know how stressful this time can be to our minds and bodies!
While we’re big fans of taking helpful supplements and keeping up with our active lifestyle as much as possible, we know that doesn’t happen as much as we’d like between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. (AKA, RIGHT NOW!)
So let’s talk about some simple tips and tricks that you can apply to your everyday - including the holidays - to keep you healthy and on-track all the way into 2019.
Tips to Stay Healthy and Survive the Holidays
Indulge in Only Your Favorite Holiday Treats
We know we’re not the only ones that splurge a bit over the holidays. But, just like our financial budget, we choose wisely about where we’re going to “save” and where we’re going to “spend” our calories when it comes to holiday sweet treat indulgences.
For example, we typically decide to nix the store-bought cookies, but we’re not going to freak out if we have a small piece of our aunt’s delicious homemade pie.
If we completely deprive ourselves of the sweet treats, we find that we eventually snap and over-indulge on the dessert table. Rather, budgeting a little in advance and allowing ourselves a little bit of sweetness throughout our holiday festivities tends to keep us on the right path.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Totally get it - certain holidays may call for a nice glass of champagne. (We see you, New Years Eve.) But, just like with the sweet treats, determine where you want to indulge, and when it just might not be worth the splurge.
Beyond alcohol inhibiting your judgement and sense of control, alcohol is just bad for you in general. It slows the release of glucose into your bloodstream, which totally messes up your blood sugar and metabolism. And it also has a TON of bad calories - 89 calories per glass of white wine or champagne, 55 calories in a shot of vodka, and 170 calories in a pint of stout beer. Eek - now is that really worth it?
Just like with your holiday treats, determine in advance where you might think it’s worth it to indulge - and when you think it might be better to offer to be D.D. for the evening.
Especially over the holidays, which conveniently happen to overlap with cold and flu season, make sure that you’re drinking tons of water. Beyond our bodies being about 60% made up of water - it’s in literally every cell and tissue of our bodies -, water also greatly boosts our immune system.
Water keeps our mucus membranes moist so that they can more easily beat bugs out of our system. It also balances our bodily fluids, which are involved in everything from digestion, to blood circulation, to transportation of nutrients, to maintaining our bodily temperature.
If you’re traveling over the holidays, hydration is of extra importance, because the low humidity at high altitudes makes plane cabins extra dry, thus making our our airways more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. To make sure you stay hydrated and healthy, we recommend drinking an extra eight ounces of water for every hour you’re on a plane. (And maybe bringing some antibacterial wipes for those airplane bathrooms, eh? Those things are gross...)
Don’t Go Hungry
Are we the only ones that used to starve ourselves in anticipation of a big meal? But there are so many reasons why that’s just so wrong!
When you get to a party after starving your body all day, not only are you going to scarf down waaaay more calories than you normally would, but several of your essential functions will be down, too. So goodbye healthy fiber, and say hello to that sugar rush you get from mom’s brownie bites!
Instead, consider having a healthy shake prior to heading out to a function. That way, you’ll be full of good, healthy nutrients, instead of feeling the need to over-indulge on the buffet.
Get Your Groove On
While delicious food and tasty beverages are ingredients for any good party, we think that connecting with friends and laughing (a lot) belong on that list, too. Meander around the table to say hello to friends and family, or be the one to shake your booty a bit to that feisty cocktail hour music.
Having fun and focusing on connecting with others will make your memories be happy times with those you love, rather than whether or not you ate that last bite of apple pie. Plus, all the grooving will take your attention off of all that non-healthy food on your plate so that you won’t feel the desire to over-indulge.
Enjoy Some Chewing Gum
If you can feel yourself getting towards the point where you want to overindulge on the buffet, pop a piece of chewing gum in your mouth and relax for a bit. Chewing gum tricks your mind a bit into thinking that you’re eating, so you won’t feel the urge to down as much food.
Another related party trick that we like to use is giving ourselves a little bit of time between servings, or enjoying a mint between servings to cause us to rest a little bit. Giving your body a couple of minutes between servings allows your mind to get a read on whether or not you are truly full, so that you can pick any upcoming serving sizes more accurately.
Eat Low-to-High (in Terms of Calories)
When you pile your plate full of food, try to enjoy the lower-calorie foods first. Start with the broth-based soup, then moving onto the lean protein, then onto the veggies, etc. Combine this trick with taking a few minutes between your servings and you’ll only crave a few bites of that pecan pie at the end of the night to feel fully satisfied.
This trick will make sure that you stay full on healthy proteins and veggies, instead of overindulging on sugar-packed foods that don’t bring you any nutritional value and only leave you feeling satisfied for a few minutes.
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